A Bad 3G Network Is…

While I was full of praise for the great Internet connectivity at the hotel I stayed when I was recently in St. Petersburg in Russia I also have to say a few words about the devastatingly bad 3G Internet connectivity of Beeline, one of mobile network operators in St. Petersburg.

To also be connected while on the move I had a local SIM card on a good data tariff that promised speeds up to 14 Mbit/s. In practice, I never saw more than one Mbit/s in the downlink direction and about half a Mbit/s in the uplink direction which is still good and usable if it was reliable. Unfortunately, while there was coverage and good signal strength in most places I was, getting IP packets through the link most of the time didn't work at all or only very slowly.

After a few days and trying the SIM card in a few devices to ensure this "non connectivity while having good coverage" is not the result of a device incompatibility, I gave up frustrated and just did what everyone else seemed to have done as well: Use the free and totally open Wi-Fi hotspots provided by most restaurants and cafes in town.

Quite frankly I wondered what the point is of rolling out a 3G network and then having such a crappy service? Sorry Beeline, that was the first and the last time I used your network. I wonder if MTS or other competitors would have been better?

2 thoughts on “A Bad 3G Network Is…”

  1. Martin, you were “lucky” enough to choose worst operator in MBB terms. I believe MTS or Megafon would be better.

  2. Martin,
    I use Megafon. And I have a custom of surfing through internet while travelling to my work or back home. It is quite typical to see periodic ‘black out’ zone, where I see EDGE connectivity, but no IP traffic.

    It looks like there are too many IPhones/Galaxies/etc in Russia, so their networks are overloaded.

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